Did you know Canadians waste an estimated $31 billion worth of food each year? And that almost half of that is wasted at home?
Shocking right? Especially when one in eight Canadians goes hungry.
Along the entire food life-cycle, waste is prevalent—“ugly”(but tasty) fruits and veggies tossed before making it to the grocery store, produce and dairy that sits unused in refrigerators across the country, and organics that end up in the landfill due to improper sorting.
In Metro Vancouver alone, we waste over 100,000 tons of edible food, drink and dairy every year. Recently, Metro Vancouver launched the Love Food Hate Waste campaign to educate Vancouverites on easy ways they can reduce their food waste, saving money (around $700 a year!) and reducing GHG emissions, and here on campus, we're very fortunate to be a part of a system that supports this. UBC Food Services policies and procedures around food purchasing and preparation are geared towards ensuring as little as possible is wasted and they are even exploring options to donate edible food items.
Even our organics come full circle—they are processed in our campus in-vessel composter, and transformed into nutrient-rich soil that is used right here on campus for landscaping! Yup, your leftovers live on and help make our campus beautiful!
Want to learn more? Stop by the Love Your Leftovers Food Waste Festival March 16 from 11:30-2:00 at Lee Square and learn all about the fun and practical ways you can reduce food waste. Grab some grub at our Zero Waste Food Truck Festival, let UBC Chef Steve Golub show you how to transform your leftovers into new, exciting meals, or chat with on and off-campus groups who are tackling the issues of food waste and food security. Rumour has it UBC Food Services might even be handing out Ponderosa Cake samples at their booth…my personal favourite way to use up super-ripe bananas.
For some true inspiration on reducing your food waste, join us for a special screening and discussion of Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story with filmmaker Jenny Rustemeyer at Michael Smith Labs from 12-1. You’ll have the chance to win this absolutely awesome door prize, valued at over $250. Spaces are limited, so register soon!
Working on this event has certainly been eye-opening. While I feel as if though I've always been somewhat conscious food waste, I'm definitely learning to love my leftovers just a little bit more—just ask my poor husband...he'll never throw away perfectly good chipotle peppers again!